Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Results 31 to 37 of 37

Thread: A discussion board "buyer's guide"

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    726

    Default

    No anonymous posting here. I appreciate the suggestion, Jeff, and am always willing to discuss ideas with the Editorial Board. I'm not hearing much support for the idea, and I can't say I support it myself. Keep thinking though. I would like to see more participation.

    As to some thinking the forum is biased, it's pretty much impossible to please everyone. I daresay in this case, it's entirely impossible. I do what I know myself to be an honest job. If anyone has a problem with how the forum is run, I am always open to suggestions and constructive feedback.

    (Note: If you're 55+ you can post anonymously, if you provide your real name to the moderator as Jeff suggests above, in the 55+ Forum, dealing with elder issues.)

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    I don't object to anonymity, but to have "selective anonymity" with a moderator who some think of as biased (some think this entire forum is biased) would not be attractive to many people.
    I would be interested to know what evidence "some" cite in making either of these claims (that Kim is biased, or that the forum is biased). The former is of course possible, since people are inherently biased, even if they don't express that bias. The latter can only be a reflection of the participants (unless some are saying that the nature of the platform itself lends itself to one type of point-of-view or another). Now, if some are saying that the DF exhibits a bias in that one point-of-view is more represented than another, that's at least a testable assertion.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    448

    Default

    I just remembered an "e." to my list of things that people have said they have a problem with on these forums:

    Posts where someone takes one point, sometimes a minor one, out of a post and replies only to that in isolation, while ignoring some of the more meaningful points that a poster has made.
    Happens a lot.
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    I just remembered an "e." to my list of things that people have said they have a problem with on these forums:

    Posts where someone takes one point, sometimes a minor one, out of a post and replies only to that in isolation, while ignoring some of the more meaningful points that a poster has made.
    Happens a lot.
    This is an interesting new suggestion. Good thing I'm commenting on the whole post! [grin] In practice, though, I'm unclear on how someone should proceed.

    • If someone wishes to comment in support of one or several but not all significant points, is that okay?
    • If someone wishes to disagree with one or several but not all significant points, is that okay?
    • If someone wishes for clarification of one or several but not all significant points, is that okay?
    • For the above cases, if not okay, does it become okay if the person notes that they generally agree with or disagree with the unaddressed points? Or if they say that they're taking no stand on the other significant points?
    • Or should someone not respond at all if they aren't going to address most/all of the post?


    With in-person discussion, the path wanders in unexpected ways, often leaving many points unaddressed and often heading down entirely unrelated paths. Those characteristic are a big part of what makes discussion so great. Is there something about an online forum that argues against these characteristics?

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    448

    Default Is it okay? It depends.....

    I think the real question here is:

    Is it OK that this discussion board has as few participants as it does?
    If the answer is yes, then thereís nothing more to say on it..
    If the answer is no, then we need to try to understand why and change it.

    The reasons I listed, which Iíve expounded on and included below are some of the most common ones Iíve heard. Iím sure there are others. For example, there are some people whose lives are so busy or whose interests are so different, that theyíd never even consider spending their time in this way. They are not the target audience.

    However, itís those who are aware of the forums, have seen them before, who occasionally check them out to see the latest insults that are flying around, but who wouldnít dream of stepping into the fray, that are the ones weíre really missing out on. Some of these are people who DO spend time on discussion boards Ė just not this one.

    There are extremely intelligent, articulate interesting people with a wide array of viewpoints and experience who could bring a rich, broad, new perspective to these forums, but who wonít touch it with a 10 foot pole.

    Here are some of the reasons Iíve heard:


    a. Find it intimidating
    b. Find it annoying
    c. Find it a waste of time
    d. Notice many posts where another poster takes one point someone has made (often a minor one), isolates it from the real point that was trying to be made, and ignores the intended meaning of the main point entirely, while going off on a tangent.
    e. Some of the posters are pompous, condescending and arrogant.
    f. Do not want to participate in, or be the target of, the vitriolic behavior.
    g. Do not even want read these boards because of the vitriolic behavior.
    h. Find some of the posts and/or their authors to be immature, rude, defensive, attacking.
    I. Donít feel comfortable making any criticism or expressing any legitimate concerns about the schools or the town, for fear of being attacked themselves.
    j. Find it amusing, though ultimately annoying, that certain posters seem to have an incessant need to always get in the last word.
    k. All of the above.


    So, in answer to Jeff Dís question, are all those things he listed in his post "okay"?
    Sure, if we are satisfied that this is as good as it gets, in terms of participation in these forums.

    But until others see a more civil, less biting atmosphere here, where respectful dialogue can take place, people can actually bring themselves to apologize for saying stupid things or providing incorrect information, people can express their concerns and speak critically about the schools or the local government without being attacked or marginalized by town board members or their friends, and people can respectfully disagree, then I think it is what it is.

    If it's not okay, and we want to expand the membership here, then things must change from within.
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    275

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    I think the real question here is:

    Is it OK that this discussion board has as few participants as it does?
    If the answer is yes, then thereís nothing more to say on it..
    If the answer is no, then we need to try to understand why and change it.

    The reasons I listed, which Iíve expounded on and included below are some of the most common ones Iíve heard. Iím sure there are others. For example, there are some people whose lives are so busy or whose interests are so different, that theyíd never even consider spending their time in this way. They are not the target audience.

    However, itís those who are aware of the forums, have seen them before, who occasionally check them out to see the latest insults that are flying around, but who wouldnít dream of stepping into the fray, that are the ones weíre really missing out on. Some of these are people who DO spend time on discussion boards Ė just not this one.

    There are extremely intelligent, articulate interesting people with a wide array of viewpoints and experience who could bring a rich, broad, new perspective to these forums, but who wonít touch it with a 10 foot pole.

    Here are some of the reasons Iíve heard:


    a. Find it intimidating
    b. Find it annoying
    c. Find it a waste of time
    d. Notice many posts where another poster takes one point someone has made (often a minor one), isolates it from the real point that was trying to be made, and ignores the intended meaning of the main point entirely, while going off on a tangent.
    e. Some of the posters are pompous, condescending and arrogant.
    f. Do not want to participate in, or be the target of, the vitriolic behavior.
    g. Do not even want read these boards because of the vitriolic behavior.
    h. Find some of the posts and/or their authors to be immature, rude, defensive, attacking.
    I. Donít feel comfortable making any criticism or expressing any legitimate concerns about the schools or the town, for fear of being attacked themselves.
    j. Find it amusing, though ultimately annoying, that certain posters seem to have an incessant need to always get in the last word.
    k. All of the above.


    So, in answer to Jeff Dís question, are all those things he listed in his post "okay"?
    Sure, if we are satisfied that this is as good as it gets, in terms of participation in these forums.

    But until others see a more civil, less biting atmosphere here, where respectful dialogue can take place, people can actually bring themselves to apologize for saying stupid things or providing incorrect information, people can express their concerns and speak critically about the schools or the local government without being attacked or marginalized by town board members or their friends, and people can respectfully disagree, then I think it is what it is.

    If it's not okay, and we want to expand the membership here, then things must change from within.
    John's thoughts are right on here. I, for one, have been accused of such behavior by Jeff D. recently. I have reviewed my comments over and over again, and stand behind them. That being said, Jeff D. has done the same and deemed them "bad behavior." He has a right to his opinion. I have a right to mine. John said it before -- one man's truth is another's bad behavior.

    In the end, though, we are both willing to put our name on our posts because these are our real thoughts. Anonymity creates a license for people to say things without any true ownership (and secret ownership doesn't count). I think freedom of speech is essential, but I participate here and not on WickedLocal because of identification.

    It takes guts for anyone to stand behind their written word. I say, let this remain a forum that requires guts. There are far too many others that don't....

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Wayland MA
    Posts
    1,431

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    d. Notice many posts where another poster takes one point someone has made (often a minor one), isolates it from the real point that was trying to be made, and ignores the intended meaning of the main point entirely, while going off on a tangent.
    I appreciate that the other points in your post are important. I'm focusing on this one because it's the one that I asked about in a prior post of mine. I agree that in general, we should strive to stay on topic. That said, there will be times when focusing on only one significant point makes sense. One person's "minor" may be another's "major."

    For instance, if someone had a ten-point post with one "minor" point being that Person ABC is a lout and the other nine being the "major" points, I wouldn't view Person ABC as being in violation of "rule d." because they chose to address the point referencing them.

    This particular thread-let started when I quoted and responded to John's comment about the moderator and board being biased. That may not have been the main point, but it was a significant one, and my focusing on it wasn't to say that the other points were minor or unimportant. They may have been things that I agreed with and felt required no further endorsement, for instance. Or things that I didn't have the time to address. Or things that weren't the most important point to me at that moment.

    In any event, thanks for your elaboration. And setting aside who has been guilty of what, I in general agree with your points a-j.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •